Tripping the Prom Queen is a groundbreaking investigation into the dark secret of female friendship: rivalry.
Susan Shapiro Barash has exploded the myth that women help one another, are supportive of one another, and want each other to succeed. Based on interviews with women across a broad social spectrum, she has discovered that the competition between women is more vicious precisely because it is covert. She tells us:
* Why women can't and won't admit to rivalry.
* How women are trained from an early age to compete with one another.
* In which areas women most heatedly compete.
* How rivalry is different among women than among men.
* The differences between competition, envy, and jealousy.
* When competition is healthy and when it isn't.
* Why women find it irresistible to "trip the prom queen."
* Useful strategies to stop the competition and forge a new kind of relationship with other women.
Whether you've tripped the prom queen or been tripped yourself, you will discover an engrossing exploration of this female phenomenon, as well as a beacon of hope for better, more fulfilling relationships.
The recent rash of books and movies about mean girls may seem to indicate a new phenomenon, but Longfellow observed about a certain little girl almost 200 years ago, "when she was good, she was very good indeed/but when she was bad, she was horrid." The 500 women gender studies scholar Barash interviewed for this exhaustively researched book on female competition confirms that women can indeed be mean. Barash outlines why women compete with each other differently than men do with other men and why women often want to sabotage powerful female rivals. Male competition is goal-oriented and limited, Barash says, while women compete over appearance, children, the workplace and relationships. Why? According to Barash, for women, competition is about identity and relationships, and they have a harder time setting boundaries to competition. Barash devotes chapters to specific areas of competition, from looks to career, and then presents real-life examples of situations in which resentment and jealousy can be used to improve one's life without destroying anyone else's. Overall, this study provides a helpful starting place for any woman wondering if it's possible to get what she wants without hurting or being hurt. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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St. Martin's Press
March 06, 2006
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